Sunday, June 8, 2008


Cattails are a common plant found in many ponds. They are best described as having long, slender, grass-like stalks that can grow up to 10 feet in height. In late summer and fall, they form the brown seed heads that so many of us associate with cattails. A small area of cattails can be visually pleasing as well as provide fish and wildlife habitat. However, cattails rapidly spread via seeds and roots. In just a few short years without management, cattails take over pond shallow water areas. It is not unusual to see ponds that are completely surrounded by cattails. This ruins the pond’s visual and recreational benefits. Fortunately, cattails can be successfully managed.
Last year we began a major cattail removal on the sixth hole to improve the aesthetics as well as the playability of the hole. It appeared that we were able to kill all of the cattails, but as the summer has progressed a portion of the cattail population has returned. We will be treating these areas as they appear throughout the season, so that we can reach our goal of a clean pond edge.

Mechanical Management:
Physically removing cattails is a viable option when they first invade a pond. New cattails can easily be pulled by hand once the new green growth is about 6 inches above the water surface.
Biological Management:
There is currently no good choice to achieve biological control of cattails. Grass carp (white amur) are often mentioned as a potential control method, but in reality they prefer not to eat cattails.
Chemical Management:
The use of chemicals is the most commonly used method to control cattails, because it is easy to accomplish and does not require persistent vigilance